Saturday, April 23, 2011

Crossing the line

Refinancing the HELOC to an amortized 15-year loan took alot of stress out of my life by fixing the interest rate (albeit higher). This month, this loan reached that magical point where the principal portion of the payment is more than the interest portion. Something about crossing that line just makes me so much happier!!

This month statements shows: $289.56 principal and $287.34 interest.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Clarity on the Annual Financial Goals

When I wrote this post, I was a little vague about my financial goals for the year. Nothing like going through another tax season, where numbers are on the brain 24/7. Looking at hundreds of other tax returns always helps me clarify my own finances, and the progress I'd like to make.

So yes...even though I still want to fund the Net Worth by $15,000, here are the specific goals in order of priority:

  1. Pay for current expenses without borrowing any more money during 2011.
  2. Reduce total debt by $10,000. The balance on 1/1/11 was $337,452.59.
  3. Fully fund $5,000 into my Roth IRA before 4/15/12.
  4. Save as much as possible for anticipated orthodontist expenses in 2012. DD turns 10 next January, which is when our family dentist will be sending her for braces. Unfortunately, I had two thumbsuckers, so braces are definitely in the future for both kids.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I'm squeezing out another $150 to send to the Roth IRA before the deadline. That will up my total contribution for 2010 to $1,675. Let's hope I don't regret this when time comes to pay for our summer trip to dd's dance team Nationals.....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I just crossed the $10 mark with MTurk earnings

I decided to let them verify my checking account the old-fashioned way (by making two miniscule deposits into my account), so it will be a few days before I transfer the money. But I'll have a few more cents too! This has left me wondering....

Do you report Survey Income or Swagbucks earned on your tax return?

We're all anonymous here, and I don't think the IRS will be monitoring this blog to look for tax tell me the truth. I'm extremely curious.

I do report everything that is deposited into my bank account. I probably missed some Swagbucks, since I usually just post in my money software the amount I've paid for an item. But I think technically I should claim the value of the Amazon gift cards as income. They're not "discounts", they're just alternate methods of payment. I need to remember to keep up with it better in 2011.

Speaking of which, I have enough Swagbucks to get four $5 gift cards, so I think I'm on track to meet the $60 goal I want to have for Christmas shopping!

Feeling a little abnormal

Our lunchroom discussion yesterday turned to frugality, tightwads, being cheap, whatever you want to call it. Remember I work in an accounting firm, so most of my co-workers are fiscally conservative by nature anyway. Of the eight people in the room (I've worked with all of them more than 10 years...some of them 24 years), they voted me hands down as the "tightest" with my wallet. The old motto was always "In Debt NEVER pays retail." What they don't understand is that I could never support our standard of living (housing, kid activities, etc) if I wasn't as tight as a tick. I think they would also be shocked to know the level of credit card debt I allowed to accumulate in 2008 and 2009. Even so....I walked back to the office wondering just how weird I really am. Then I glanced over a few of the PF blogs in my Google Reader, and felt back among friends.

Friday, April 1, 2011

First Quarter, 2011 Net Worth Funding

I should be working, but I'm procrastinating....

Remember this blast from the past? It's been months since I posted my progress. I figured out the final number I'm willing to pull from checking for the Roth. Combined with a little bit of stock I sold back at the end of 2010, I'll be funding a total of $1,525 into the Roth for 2010. A far cry from the $5,000 allowed contribution, but better than nothing I suppose.

This is a boring spreadsheet, but it helps keep me on track. The big withdrawal from the Rental E-fund in February was to pay the annual property taxes. I'm finally happy with the balance in this E-fund for the rental since it has a full 6 months of expenses. Good thing, since I'll be looking for new tenants as of the first of July.

The other numbers that make me smile are the stock dividends. Many of the quality dividend-paying stocks increase the dividends in the first quarter of the year. I'm reinvesting all these in additional shares, so the dividends keep going up little by little. Dividends for the 1st quarter, 2010 were $201.12 compared to $221.21 so far this year. I'm glad I have the dividends for an inflation hedge since the interest income just keeps getting punier and punier!